Substantive Negotiations Begin At COP21 + New US Poll (VIDEO)

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Monday’s leadership segment of the Paris COP21 climate conference went well (see earlier story). Here’s a video with details from the top officials there.

On Tuesday, the UN’s Conference of Parties and its subsidiary bodies began substantive negotiations at the Le Bourget conference.

Goals for an exemplary COP (cop21.gouv.fr)
Goals for an exemplary COP (cop21.gouv.fr)

Earth Negotiations Bulletin reports:

“With the cool December wind blowing through the venue, some delegates enthused that negotiations seemed to be ‘taking off.’ Others expressed concern at the rapidly expanding schedule, wondering how they could participate in the numerous parallel spin-off, “informal informal” and contact group meetings of the ADP (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform), in addition to attending the SB’s [two subsidiary bodies] work. One delegate pointed out that the contact group had become the hub for the ADP’s work, which ‘really helped the transparency of the process.’”

“As the day progressed,” the reporters continued, the tempo slowed, and co-facilitators implored COP21 delegates to “show flexibility and move from known positions.”

The ADP plans to move the agreement forward this week, with “worker bee” delegates identifying key issues in committee that the high-level diplomats need to help resolve next week. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, all the technical level discussions (spin-off groups) will complete their work by 6 pm on Thursday, December 3. By 9 pm on that day, the negotiations in the full ADP contact group must conclude.

ADP will release new draft text for COP21 on Friday, December 4, by 8 AM, and the ADP contact group will finalize the work before Saturday, December 5, at 10 AM, leaving two hours before the ADP closes. By Saturday early afternoon, the ADP will forward the current negotiating text to high-level ministers and diplomats to take over.

In separate news…New York Times/CBS News poll found that two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Only a slim majority of Republicans remain opposed. This news countervails the attitude of US Republican politicians in Congress and may even make some of them think twice. (Wagers, anyone?) Also, fully 63% of Americans, including a Republican majority, support President Obama’s domestic policy limiting carbon emissions from power plants.


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